Unnatural Death: Confessions of a Medical Examiner Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Michael Baden
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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. What piece of evidence was crucial to the case in 1910?

2. What does Baden find caused the death of the woman at the fund raising dinner?

3. What are characteristics of an alcoholic's liver?

4. What does Baden prove is the material around Dr. Martin Luther King's wound?

5. What were the complaints against Baden as ME by Morgenthau and Ferrer?

Short Essay Questions

1. Explain why, from the beginning, Baden believed the police had the wrong time of death for Gail Morris.

2. Why did Kuklinski use cyanide, and how did Baden discover it on his victims?

3. Describe the symptoms of strangulation, as seen during autopsy.

4. Explain how the body of Theresa Ferrara was identified and why there were different strands of hair on her torso.

5. Discuss the symptoms of strychnine.

6. Explain how Baden knew the hostages were killed by the guards.

7. Explain what Baden notes occurs by the French Revolution as a way to bring bodies to medical schools for science.

8. Explain why the DA dropped the three additional murder charges against Kuklinski.

9. How did Baden know the killer in the Buffalo slayings was trained, either as a hunter or medically?

10. Explain the disparity between Dr. Lee's issued cause of death and Baden's issued cause of death for Dr. Brown.

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Explain the case of Paul Fried in detail. What were the original circumstances surrounding Paul's death? What caused further investigation? What role did his wife, Catherine, play? What was their relationship like? Who came forward with information, and what was that information? How was a new cause of death discovered? What was the result? How did the autopsy findings affect this case? What does this say about the importance of a proper autopsy in any case of death?

Essay Topic 2

The case of Carl Cappolono is listed as being an almost perfect crime. However, this case had several holes in it that eventually led to Carl's demise. Based on the book, what kinds of mistakes do killers make that eventually come back to haunt them? What do killers assume about poison, and why is this assumption incorrect? How can an ME detect poisons long after they have been administered, according to the tests done in the book? What does this say about the idea that poison killings are killings without a trace?

Essay Topic 3

The novel discusses three clear methods to detect time of death, those of rigor mortis, livor mortis, and algor mortis.

Part 1) List each method, and discuss, in detail, how that method helps determine the time of death.

Part 2) Compare and contrast the three methods. How are they the same? How are they different?

Part 3) Which is the best method of detection? Why? What are the limitations of this method?

(see the answer keys)

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